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McMaster University



Welcome to McMaster and to the Office of the President. The University's website provides a wealth of information about the mission and vision of the University, its innovative educational programs, cutting-edge research, and the students, faculty, staff, alumni, friends, and supporters who make up the McMaster community. I was privileged to become a member of this community in July 2010, when I began my term as President and Vice-Chancellor. More


Principle 1

We are an institution devoted to the cultivation of human potential, which we believe cannot be realized by individuals in isolation from one another, from their history or their imagined future, from the society which surrounds them, or from the physical universe which sustains them. Our programs and activities will reflect this comprehensive view.


Principle 2

It follows that in defining our strengths and seeking to build on them, we will adopt a multidisciplinary perspective, recognizing that even the most specialized problem requires an appropriately broad-based approach.


Principle 3

Our future shall be continuous and consistent with our past, expanding upon and fulfilling the historic character of McMaster as an institution. We will foster the distinct identity of this university, while at the same time continuing to recognize the importance of collaboration and dialogue with sister institutions in Ontario, Canada, and abroad.


Principle 4

Notwithstanding that commitment to continuity with the past and to coordination with practices elsewhere, we will place the highest value on original thought and on innovation.


Principle 5

To that end, we will not only reaffirm the importance of radical questioning at the heart of the academic enterprise, but we will ensure the integrity of our work by bringing a critical view to all of our practices-those which bear directly upon education and research as well as those less directly related to it.


Principle 6

Wherever possible, we will reduce or eliminate obstacles to cooperation.


Principle 7

We will acknowledge, and seek to integrate in all our work and in ways appropriate to our specific fields, an obligation to serve the greater good of our community-locally, nationally, and globally.


Lecture Series

McMaster Seminar on Higher Education: Practice, Policy, and Public Life

The McMaster Seminar on Higher Education: Practice, Policy, and Public Life is a lecture series presented by the Office of the President. The aim of the annual series is to encourage dialogue and inspire critical thought within the McMaster and the broader Hamilton communities. It is intended that the topics will be timely, interdisciplinary, and far-reaching, guided by the key questions and challenges facing higher education institutions and the communities they serve. The series will emphasize the importance to the academy, and to society as a whole, of thinking critically and engaging in meaningful discussion of challenging issues. The series is intended to be of relevance for a wide audience and all members of the community are welcome and encouraged to attend.

This year, the series will feature speakers presented by the Understanding Canada Conference, the Department of Psychology, Neuroscience and Behaviour, the Indigenous Studies Program, the School of the Arts, MIIETL, and the Office of the President.

Upcoming Events:

150 Years Later: Abolition in the 21st Century
April Session

Lee Gass
Stories of Transformation in Higher Education: Students, Faculty, and Administrators Creating Magic Together


Wednesday, April 30, 2014
Free admission. 


Council Chambers, Gilmour Hall 111
McMaster University

Presented by:

Presented by the McMaster Institute for Innovation & Excellence in Teaching & Learning (MIIETL) and the Office of the President



I am a sculptor. I am a hummingbird researcher. I am a master teacher.

For more than 60 years, my consuming passion has been to integrate these
parts of myself into a unified whole and to share that process with
others. Now I work every day in my studio on Quadra Island, surrounded by
rocks, trees, ferns, and wildlife.

Always, I reflect on my life in education. I swim in a sea of stories of what worked, what didn’t work, and what may have worked better. It was a magical thing to be intimately engaged in other people’s learning. Now, the magic continues as I continue to learn my craft of shaping stone, and I am eager to share some of both kinds of magic with the McMaster community.

I am a full-time sculptor, a feller of trees, a hauler, splitter, stacker, and bringer-in of firewood, a mower of meadows and a helper in the garden. Sometimes I speak to groups of educators about teaching and learning, and about how institutions themselves can learn. Currently, I am working with a videographer and fellow biologist to develop a web-based, mobile-enabled, interactive, picture-based tool to help people of all ages explore and learn about coastal environments, for example to identify organisms they have just discovered in the field. Anyone interested in this project please contact me about it at